Miners file age discrimination suits

By Annie Cosby | Sep 2, 2014

MADISON -- Three West Virginia men are suing over claims their employment was terminated based upon their age.

Larry McMichen, Michael S. Webb and John Hackworth filed lawsuits Aug. 8 in Boone Circuit Court against Spartan Mining Company, doing business as Mammoth Coal Company, John Doe Company 1 and John Doe Company 2, citing age discrimination.

According to the first complaint, McMichen was employed by Mammoth as a fire boss and outside belt man and Hackworth as a roof bolt operator when they were laid off at the ages of 61 and 58, respectively, on April 3, 2012. Webb says he was employed as an operator when he was laid off on May 29, 2012, at the age of 43.

The complaint states these incidents were part of a coordinated layoff ordered by John Doe Companies 1 and 2 to its subsidiaries, including Mammoth, and took an employee's age into account in the layoff selection. The defendants are accused of violations of the West Virginia Human Rights Act, disparate treatment and disparate impact.

The plaintiffs are seeking lost wages and other damages, attorney's fees, and reinstatement.

They are being represented in the cases by attorneys Todd S. Bailess and Joy B. Mega of Bailess Law PLLC in Charleston and Lonnie C. Simmons of DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley, & Simmons PLLC in Charleston. The cases have been assigned to Circuit Judge William S. Thompson.

Boone Circuit Court Case Nos. 14-C-784-K, 14-C-785-B, 14-C-788-H

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